From Kaiser Health News: Among the takeaways from this week’s podcast: Outside Washington, concerns about…
Short term plans are currently limited to 90 days in duration. A new GOP proposal would increase the timeframe to 364 days, giving healthy individuals an alternative to ACA-qualified individual plans.
This article explains that the AHCA can’t pass as a reconciliation bill unless it saves $2 billion over 10 years. We’re still waiting on a CBO score on the bill, so it hasn’t yet been sent to the Senate. If the CBO says it saves less than $2 billion or adds to the deficit, the House will have to make changes and re-vote. [NBC News]
This article points out that “you can work full time but not have the money to fix your teeth – visible reminders of the divide between rich and poor.” While Congress focuses on fixing the problems with health insurance, millions of people without dental coverage often go without care. [Washington Post]
While popular, the Age 26 Rule, which allows young adults to stay on their parents’ health plan, should be eliminated. If those young, healthy adults were to purchase coverage in the individual market instead, we’d see premiums come down for everyone.
Is it time to revisit the Single Payer idea? This article makes a pretty good argument for it. [New York Times]
Mr. Trump has told four people close to him that he regrets going along with Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s plan to push a health care overhaul before unveiling a tax cut proposal more politically palatable to Republicans.
President Trump says that the “time has come to give Americans the freedom to purchase health insurance across state lines—which will create a truly competitive national marketplace that will bring costs way down and provide far better care.” This article explains why he may be wrong. [Business Insider]
President Trump and Republican lawmakers have talked a lot about selling insurance across state lines, offering the idea as one of the top answers to the Affordable Care Act. What many don’t realize is that it’s already legal under Obamacare – there just aren’t a lot of takers. [Palm Beach Post]
Health Savings Accounts feature prominently in the new healthcare bill being considered by the U.S. House of Representatives, with a variety of changes in store. But research shows not many participants are actually saving money beyond the initial tax break. [Reuters]
This is a huge trend in the insurance industry right now. Even within a contracted provider network, insurers are offering better deals at “preferred pharmacies.” It keeps costs down but certainly limits the options for consumers. [Kaiser Health News]
The proposed legislation would repeal the individual and employer mandates back to the beginning of 2016, increase the contribution limits for Health Savings Account, and eliminate many of the taxes created to pay for the Affordable Care Act. Read the bill and an eight-page summary here.
Josh Hilgers and Eric Johnson hosted an industry update for BenefitMall Brokers via webinar on March 6th and 7th. Attendees can download a copy of the presentation “What We Know Right Now About the ACA Replacement Plan” here.
On February 28, President Trump addressed both sessions of Congress on national TV. Here are the five proposals he offered as a replacement to Obamacare.
John Boehner said that he does not believe the Republican-controlled Congress will be able to completely repeal and replace Obamacare: “In the 25 years I served in the United States Congress, Republicans never, ever, one time, agreed on what a healthcare proposal should look like. Not once.”
Most of the GOP replacement plans include a cap on the employer exclusion. The impact on ancillary benefits and tax-advantaged accounts like FSAs will be similar to the Cadillac tax but would require less employer paperwork. [Bloomberg]
When Donald Trump was elected president, ACA repeal seemed to be inevitable. Not anymore. While many GOP lawmakers are still talking repeal, some seem content with repairing the health care law; others want to take their time and get it right. [NPR]
The Affordable Care Act creates advanceable, refundable premium tax credits to individuals and families with incomes up to 400% of the Federal Poverty Level and cost-sharing subsidies for people earning less than 250% of the Federal Poverty Level. The FPL numbers are announced every January by HHS. Here’s the FPL chart for 2017 for various income levels.
This tool was developed by the Kaiser Family Foundation to illustrate health insurance premiums and subsidies for people purchasing insurance on their own in new health insurance exchanges (or “Marketplaces”) created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). You can enter different incomes, ages, and family sizes to get an estimate of your eligibility for subsidies and how much you could spend on health insurance.
One of Trump’s first actions as President is to sign an executive order easing the burdens of the ACA. This could mean that the individual mandate will go away, but we don’t yet know. [Washington Post]
Concierge or Direct Practice Physicians — this is a trend that’s likely to grow in 2017 and beyond. [Los Angeles Times]
The number one thing Obamacare did is make all plans guaranteed issue. And this is why that provision won’t go away. [Kaiser Health News]
Among other things, the 21st Century Cures Act legalizes “defined contribution” for individual plans through a qualified small employer health reimbursement arrangement for non-applicable large employers. Below is the language from that part of the legislation.
Here’s a great overview of the major provisions that will likely be included in the ACA replacement plan. [Journal of the American Medical Association – JAMA]
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the 2017 premiums for the Medicare inpatient hospital (Part A) and physician and outpatient hospital services (Part B) programs.
This set of FAQs addresses coverage of preventive services under the Affordable Care Act and the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act.
This set of FAQs addresses premium reduction arrangements for student health plan coverage.
From KFF: Starting in 2015, large employers face penalties if they don’t make affordable coverage available to their employees. This simple flowchart illustrates how those employer responsibilities work.
This calculator shows the total monthly premium, subsidy amount, and adjusted premium for families in different states.
This easy-to-use calculator asks for the age of each family member and the family’s zip code and provides the total subsidized premium and subsidy amount.